Windows XP Pro adds an "Internet Gateway" connection

This problem has been plagueing me for quite a long time and I have no idea what to try next. A friend of mine just had the same thing happen to him, so I'm going to offer 200 points for this one to figure it out quickly.

I am using Windows XP Pro. This happens to still be a factory install on a Dell Optiplex GX240 at home. I have a cable Internet connection that connects directly to a Linksys 4-port router and then the 4 ports connect to 5 port Linksys switches in different rooms. The switches, in turn, get connected to the various computers in each room to supply Internet and LAN connectivity.

I happen to have 2 of the Optlpex GX240s. Each resides in a different room. I believe that when I purchased these computers, I didn't have this problem, but shortly thereafter, I somehow gained an "Internet Gateway" connection. The connection is called "Internet Connection". I can see that if I were to download a huge file from the Internet to Computer1, if I were to go look at Computer2's traffic, all the traffic from Computer1's download would be sent through Computer2's Internet gateway connection and vice versa...

If I was to disable the connection on one of the computers, the other would no longer be able to access the Internet on the other.

If I was to remove the connection, it would reappear within 1-2 reboots.

Does anyone have any information on this?

Is there any way I can permanently remove the Internet Gateways from both computers?

Joel MillerDevOps EngineerAsked:
Who is Participating?
The Linksys Router is your internet gateway...

In services.msc I believe that 'Universal Plug and Play Device Host'service must be running in order for this service to be available. You should also leave the XP firewall disabled because it could cause connection problems.

Browse Master:
A browse master is one PC on a network that keeps details of other PCs on the network. So when PC-1 wants to find PC-2 it first finds the Browse Master and then passes on the information.

I would fist check to see if Internet Connection Sharing is enabled on either of these machines.  Usually the "Internet Gateway" connection is created automatically by ICS, but it doesn't sound like you need to use ICS since your router is connected directly to the cable.  Then you may want to configure the gateway on each desktop manually to look to the Linksys router.  

Just an idea...hope this helps but let me know if it doesn't!
By the way, you can find Internet Connection sharing on the advanced tab of the LAN properties...basically just make sure that the box is not checked on any of your machines.

Cloud Class® Course: Microsoft Azure 2017

Azure has a changed a lot since it was originally introduce by adding new services and features. Do you know everything you need to about Azure? This course will teach you about the Azure App Service, monitoring and application insights, DevOps, and Team Services.

Joel MillerDevOps EngineerAuthor Commented:
Well not on my computer, either of them...
On the advanced tab of the Local Area Connection Properties, It only has a check box for Internet Connection firewall which is also unchecked.

Are you sure you are looking at a Windows XP Pro  machine? or possibly Win9x, ME? Or 200 for that matter, I think it's in the same place for Windows 2000...

But in XP Pro, all I have is the Internet Connection Firewall  under Advanced. No further options.
Are you using dhcp? try using static ip's and see if the problem persist
I apologize...I had forgotten that XP's ICS is a bit different than earlier versions of Windows.  I had also forgotten how stubborn XP is regarding these settings...even if you manually configure all of the machines network settings it may still try to use ICS for internet connectivity unless you run the Network Setup Wizard again to specify that all machines on your network look to a hub for the connection.  
I would reccommend running this wizard again from the advanced tab of the Local Area Connection properties.  If the machine is trying to use ICS to connect through another machine it will tell you in one of the first windows and give you the option of choosing another way to connect.  You will obviously want to choose another way to connect, and in the next window
(connection method window) you will choose 'Other'.  The next window should give you three options, the first being "This computer connects to the internet directly or through a network hub. Other computers.....".  If it lists your existing connections rather than these options choose your LAN connection and hit next, then hit the back button twice and try choosing 'Other' again (sounds strange I know, but this is what happened to me).  You may also need to know the internal IP address of your Linksys router to complete this process (by default it's usually

I hope this solves your problem...let me know what happens.
On the culprit, open tools/Internet options/ connections and see what you have.
Compare to other.
JM, is the Computer Browser service running on all XP boxes? If so, disable it on all but one XP machine and then reboot them all.

Another thought, did you by chance link the internet and lan connections on the XP boxes?

Joel MillerDevOps EngineerAuthor Commented:
stevenlewis, I was using DHCP and have recently changed to static IP addresses for NAT. This did not resolve anything.

jehob, If I go through the wizrd and say I use a HUB, it automatically says thats a bad idea without a firewall so I'm gonna set up a firewall, etc... Lotsa bad stuff. It seems a bit more difficult to get it to set up manually like I want it. Microsoft seems to think their way is best. I use the router's incoming firewall protection and then use ZoneAlarm on top of that for security (Among other measures...)

Centerv, Under the connections tab there is absolutely nothing because it is using the LAN settings for connections. There is no proxy server. Also, both computers are behaving axactly the same.

Dennis, -"is the Computer Browser service running on all XP boxes? If so, disable it on all but one XP machine and then reboot them all."
What exactly would this do? just wondering before I try it...
Also, How would I link the two connections? Of course, I did not link them, but I'm wondering what you mean by that exactly?

Joel MillerDevOps EngineerAuthor Commented:
I believe that what Shekerra was what I was looking for. I will, however expound on that a bit for future questions concerning this.

The Linksys Router incorporates Universal-Plug-and-Play (UPnP) capabilities. When turned on using the web interface administration panel for the router, a UPnP capable Windows XP computer will automaticcally find the router on the network and show a configurable connection object in you Network Properties. It will also show an "Internet Connection" icon in the systray showing the traffic flow of the router.

When I went into Network Properties and disabled the "Internet Connection", no computers on the network could access the Internet. This was because I was actually manipulating the router and turning it off from the interface on my XP Computer.

When I deleted the "Internet Gateway" connection object from Network properties, it came back after rebooting. This is also normal behavior because it was redetected immediately.

So, all in all, I really didn't solve my problem, I learned more about the normal behavior of a network device. I also gained some nice new features using the UPnP features of the router and my Operating System.I have listed them below.

1.) An Internet Connection status icon appears in your systray allowing you to see the status of your Internet connection from the viewpoint of the router. You also graphically see the send and receive traffic representation of the router from your computer workstation. If you go to the status of that connection, you can see how long the router has been connected, the speed it is connected, and the bytes sent and recived in realtime.

2.) In the Services tab of the advanced settings of your "Internet Connection" Nework Connections object, you now have the ability to directly configure your router's UPnP services forwarding services. This allows you to configure, enable, disable, add, and delete special UPnP forwarding addresses for services. This is almost exactly like normal port forwarding, except that you can configure internal and external ports where normal port forwarding only allows to configure External ports.

3.) You can disable the router from your network properties. This will diable internet traffic for the whole network. I don't know how much of a use this is since it seems any user can do this, but it is an option.

Thanks for all the help,
Joel MillerDevOps EngineerAuthor Commented:
that should have read... "I believe that what Shekerra was talking about was what I was looking for. "

I'm sure there are other accidental gramatical errors and misspellings, etc. but you should be able to get the gist of things.

I guess I should start putting these into Word first and then posting.
Joel MillerDevOps EngineerAuthor Commented:
All of these are incredible articles Shekerra. Great information all around.

I was aware of the GRC article when it first came out and the various articles about the exploits of UPnP in Windows XP. I believe that many of these exploits have been safeguarded against in the Windows Updates (But not all...). I am under the impression that using the built-in incoming-only firewall on my Linksys router plus the use of Zonealarm on my PCs would block such exploits. It seems most of the code out there trying to use the exploit bind to port 5000 and use DDOS attacks. With my personal Firewall enabled. This exploit would not be able to use port 5000 unless I told it that it could.

Since I actually have benefits from using UPnP on my computer, I would like to keep it enabled. Much of the GRC article is based on the fact that there is no real need for it at this point. Now that there are devices which utilize this technology, I would like to keep it enabled as long as my firewall will protect against intrusion.

Does anyone feel that if the above situation exists that I should be relatively safe from the UPnP exploits?

Thanks for all the input!
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.